A Peek Into My Recipe Binder

My sweet husband surprised me with a recipe binder about two years ago.

What's so sweet about that?  Well... he made it himself.   

Yes, he did. 

It wasn't very girly or feminine, but it was put together with love and good intentions.  Picture a simple white three-ring binder, with a printed page in the front cover that read "Jaime's Recipes," and with printed, tabbed pages inside.  He even used a three-hole punch on some of my recipes and inserted them for me.

"You really need this," is what he said to me. "You'll use it."  And he was right.

Now, a couple years in fast-forward, my recipe binder has become quite full of our family favorites, and I look forward to it being passed on in the family one day.  Wouldn't it be nice if it became a treasured keepsake for my boys when they are grown, after I am gone?

Recently, I replaced the binder that holds the recipes.  This new one is a bit larger, and has a fun, feminine pattern.  It also has a handy little clip inside the front flap for holding loose papers; I use it to secure my bread machine's recipe book.

Here is how my recipes are organized (and I'm sure yours would probably look different):

  • Breakfast
  • Muffins
  • Breads
  • Salads
  • Soups & Stews
  • Meatless Meals
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Side Items
  • Desserts
  • Cleansing Meals
  • Other

Here are a few more glimpses ~

 {Have you tried Practical Housewifery's recipe for this Icebox Pie?  It's not healthy, but it's yummy!}

Do you have a recipe box, book, or binder that you use?  I'd love to hear about it!

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P.S. Did you get a chance to peek at my Homekeeping Binder last week?

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 {Linked with Finer Things FridayNourishing GourmetUltimate Recipe Swap, Dish It!Gratituesday, Tuesday Tips, Tuesday's Tip Jar, 30 Minute Blog Challenge, and WFMW}

Meal Planning Ideas

It's been awhile since I shared one of my meal plans; considering last week's post about my homekeeping binder, along with my talk about meal planning pages, I thought I'd share this week's meal plan today.

Hope you glean a few ideas!

Snacks throughout the week:
Homemade breads

Cinnamon raisin walnut bread, jam
Turkey sandwiches
Grilled chicken and glazed grilled carrots

Salty eggs (This is what we call them around here, anyway!  Like sunny-side up, but cooked through on both sides, with salt and pepper, then placed on a slice of buttered homemade bread)
Tuna sandwiches, pickles
Cajun beans and rice

Power muffins
Egg salad sandwiches
Spaghetti w/ bacon & tomatoes, homemade garlic cheese bread, salad

Toast w/ jam
Grilled cheese sandwiches (using sharp cheddar)
Chicken & poblano enchiladas (like this recipe, but with less poblano, and add chicken), mexican rice

Eggs w/ horseradish, toast, fruit
Stir-fry veggies (or roasted veggies) over rice

Oat pancakes, real maple syrup, sliced bananas
Quiche and salad

Salty eggs
Take-out or leftovers

What does your meal plan look like this week?

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{For more meal plans, check out Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday.}

Wake Up Your Eggs With Horseradish & Dill

We like our eggs to have a bit of a kick; whether they be zesty or salty, they can't be JUST eggs.  They have to be dressed-up a bit.

One of our favorite ways to do eggs is to scramble them with lightly sauteed veggies (here I used zucchini, vidalia onion, and red bell pepper, sauteed in about two tablespoons of butter).  Whisk together four eggs, add a dash of cream and a dash of horseradish, and whisk again.  Pour the egg mixture over the veggies in the skillet, add a small handful of chopped fresh dill, and salt & pepper to taste.  Continue "scrambling" the eggs as you normally would, being careful not to overcook them.

How do you like your eggs?

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{This recipe is linked in my Recipe Index, and at the Nourishing Gourmet, Real Food Wednesday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.}

Creating a Homekeeping Binder or Household Planner

A couple of years ago, I made my own "homekeeping binder."  It helps me stay organized and on top of my weekly homekeeping lists, records, and reports.  Everything regarding "the keeping of my home" is in one easy place!

Though I don't always keep everything perfectly, this little binder has helped me tremendously.

The binder itself is from Target, and I think they still sell this style in their stores.  I added tabbed dividers inside, and included labels for home cleaning lists (broken down by daily tasks, with a few blank lines for filling in additional things to do), weekly menu pages, calendar pages, budgeting reports and spending plans, homeschooling misc, pantry list, price list, car maintenance, home decor ideas, Christmas info, and phone numbers. 

As I've continued to use this binder, I've noticed there are some tabs I use more than others.  For example, my menu planning and budgeting pages get lots of use, but I don't keep up with my pantry list or price list as well as I'd like.

The menu pages are a *huge* timesaver for me.  When I'm sitting down to plan the upcoming week's meals, sometimes my mind just draws a blank, or I can only think of the same few meals that I made last week.  Having the ability to browse through several past menu pages refreshes my memory and helps me get the planning done in record time.  Meal plans are laid out similarly to what I've shared here.

In the budgeting section I keep a print-out of our current spending plan, which I've printed using the reports feature in our Mvelopes program (this is an online, virtual envelope system for budgeting we've used for four years and absolutely love).  As we update our spending plan, I place the new copy over the old copy... it's motivating to be able to compare our spending plan now to what it was in months or years past, see the progress we made, refer back to a failure, and have it all at the tip of my finger.

Regarding the homeschool tab, this is not the place where I put our homeschooling records, worksheets, etc.  Rather, this is where I keep a few printed articles and statistics that help keep me inspired on our homeschooling journey, such as a copy of the article Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool by Dr. Greg Sherman (if you are a new homeschool mom, or considering homeschooling, you might want to check it out), and these encouraging statistics from the HSLDA.

Here are some additional snapshots from my homekeeping binder:

I also keep a clear plastic sleeve in the front for holding random clippings or small notes.
Do you have a similar binder or planner that you use? 
If not, I highly recommend putting forth the minimal effort that it takes to create one.  Whether you are naturally an organized person or not, this little binder can really keep you on task and minimize clutter.
   In Passionate Pursuit,

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P.S.   Want a sneak peek into my recipe binder, too?

He Picks Me Flowers

These flowers have become a favorite around here; my oldest son picks a new little bouquet for me nearly every day.

Walking in the door from playing outside, he proudly exclaims in a sing-song voice, "Mommy!  I have more flowers for you!"

One of the neighbor kids has been inspired by his picking.  She recently picked from among my flowers to create a bouquet for her mama.  I don't mind!  There's plenty to go around. 

Isn't it sweet?

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The Two Men in my Life

My husband and my father together

I have two men in my life, my father and my husband.

My father is one of the most committed, dedicated men you'll ever meet.  For over thirty years he's pursued God, loved the same woman, worked the same job, and supported his children.  As a child, I would wrestle him, chase him, and run from him, giggling all the while... now my children - his grandchildren - do the same.

"Papaw, get me!  Get me, Papaw!"

"Let's play, Papaw!"

"Wanna wrestle, Papaw?"

Sometimes, there are no words; it's just D I V E --- and then, T A C K L E :o)

My father and I

Once, a long time ago, my father said to me, "Thank you for being my daughter."  It seemed a little silly at the time, but it has stuck with me through the years.  Really, I am the one who should say, "Dad, thank you for being my Dad."  I know that being a dad - especially a good one - isn't an easy task, but he always made it seem so effortless.  He loves us, and it shows.

My mother and father and I in the 1970s

My father works hard, but he always makes time for fun.  We took a family vacation every single year, pinching pennies if need be.  We went camping.  We went fishing.  We went canoeing.  WE DID THINGS.  Together.  As a family.

Now that I am older, I hope for the same experiences and memories with my own family, my own children.  And you know what?  I have the most amazing man to plan it with. 

The man I married is, like my father, committed and dedicated.  He works hard to care for his family.  He loves us tremendously.  He cherishes our time together.  And sometimes, I wrestle him, chase him, and run from him, too :o) 

This man is one who never witnessed a successful marriage in his family.  He was born to a single mom, raised by a poor single aunt, and then finished his teen years in a foster home.  His childhood was not an easy one, and so it is a HUGE statement when I say that he is an AMAZING husband and father.  You see, it was never modeled for him.  He didn't have that life.  No father, no committed mother, no Papaw to wrestle with.  None of that.

How can a man come from such a background, having such a bleak history with no male role models to speak of, have an adoring wife, an enduring marriage, and be a exemplary father to his children?  I'll tell you:

He has a relationship with THE Father.

He has committed his life to the passionate pursuit of Christ and devotes time to prayer and the Word.  God has transformed his life and renewed his mind. 

Though he has nothing to refer back to in his past when he ponders the meaning of family, he has God directing him, guiding him, showing him the way.  And, being the wonderful man that he is, he follows... so that he can, in turn, help guide us.

I love this man more that words can say.  We've been married over ten years now, and I'd do it all over again.  I pray we have at least fifty more together.  Pierre, you are a treasure, and I am beyond blessed to be your wife.

Happy Father's Day to the two most special men in my life.  I love you both.

    With Much Love,
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This post is linked with Walk With Him Wednesday @ Holy Experience and Finer Things Friday.